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01 Oct 2015

Why are specialist's receptionists/secretaries so rude?
One would think that since they represent the specialist they work for that specialist's pa's would be friendly and courteous. I pay a lot for my medical aid and co-payments and wait like anyone else sometimes months to see a specialist. One only consults a specialist when you are pretty ill and normally you are anxious to boot and also concerned about findings and expenses. Yesterday I had the misfortune of engaging with two really rude women at a top class hospital in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, so much so, that I am canceling a scheduled procedure with the one. I realise he will never get to know the real reason. I feel it should be addressed at hospital board level because equally patients do the specialist a favour by consulting him/her. I let the one have it yesterday (I think to her utter surprise). I also consulted with two specialists at Vincent Pallotti and both their receptionists were charming and courteous and it went a long way to making me feel less anxious and neither of them did anything except be polite and friendly. Maybe the Peter Kay "It's my Doctor, It's my Doctor" throws some light on the matter. Are they wannabe Specialists or do they think they are the Specialist? I wonder how many neurosurgeons, ENT's, Pulmonologists, Physicians etc would be happy to know their receptionists do them no justice?
Answer 11,676 views
Expert
CyberShrink

02 Oct 2015

I'll bet the ogre is courteous to the specialist who signs her pay check, and doesn't let him discover how horrible she is towards the people who actually pay her salary.
In the specific example you quote, to not avoid procedures you yourself need, because of a rude and cocky gorgon, and make absolutely certain that you contact the specialist concerned directly and let him know how badly you were handled and how you feel about this.  Make sure he knows the real reason for your justified anger, and indeed let the hospital board know, too, though often such boards are not as functional as to be well able to handle such a matter.
I'm delighted to hear that in at least one case you "let her have it" !  It is a public service for you to do so.
I have a two-part rule for handling all such occasions I encounter ( and there are plenty ).  Here in SA we tend to be far too passive in accepting rudeness and lousy service from all sources. 
(1) When the service is bad, make certain that you announce that fact loudly enough for other customers / patients to be warned ( they may in fact benefit when the culprit tries to be amazingly good to them to make it look as though you were wrong ) and be specific in your criticism bout exactly what was wrong and how it should be improved. Then INSIST on promptly seeing the manager / supervisor / specialist to explain to them ( crisply but with relevant detail ) what was wrong ( so they can have a chance to improve it ). Use services like HelloPeter to report it for the benefit of others, and also if the company has a Facebook Page, go there and report your problem clearly and forcefully.
(2) Where service has been particularly good, be just as clear about both thanking the person directly and personally ( and in relevant detail, where this is appropriate, as they sometimes don't rally know what they were doing so right, and might not be able to repeat it ) ; and to their boss / supervisor / manager.

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